A really good television series finale (Newhart, M*A*S*H) can stick in your mind forever, but so can a bad one (Seinfeld, Game of Thrones). And pity the poor series that were cancelled suddenly and didn't have the chance to prepare a big sendoff. In the age of streaming, the explosion of quality TV has given us an ever-growing variety of series to discover, follow, and binge upon. The concept of the well-crafted finale has taken hold, and a final episode has become its own art form. This week gives us the finales of the series Succession and Barry, so let's look at the art and presentation of the series finale.
The Ringer has cobbled together a ranked list of the 40 best series finales since 2000, after diligently defining what counts as series finale or not. Each entry gives a justification for its inclusion, plus the best moment from the finale, and sometimes trivia about the production or behind-the-scenes happenings. The list includes dramas, sitcoms, animation, anime, and even talk shows. Your opinion may vary, of course, but you may also find a reason to start binge-watching some series that lead up to a great finale.
This list is part of Finale Week at the Ringer, where you'll find more articles about how TV series ended.